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Bakhtin and the Human Sciences

Bakhtin and the Human Sciences
No Last Words

Edited by:

August 1998 | 256 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Bakhtin and the Human Sciences demonstrates the abundance of ideas Bakhtin's thought offers to the human sciences, and reconsiders him as a social thinker, not just a literary theorist. The contributors hail from many disciplines and their essays' implications extend into other fields in the human sciences. The volume emphasizes Bakhtin's work on dialogue, carnival, ethics and everyday life, as well as the relationship between Bakhtin's ideas and those of other important social theorists.

In a lively introduction Gardiner and Bell discuss Bakhtin's significance as a major intellectual figure and situate his ideas within current trends and developments in social theory.

Michael Gardiner and Michael Mayerfeld Bell
Bakhtin and the Human Sciences
An Introduction

John Shotter and Michael Billig
A Bakhtinian Psychology
From Out of the Heads of Individuals and into the Dialogues between Them

Jennifer De Peuter
The Dialogics of Narrative Identity
Michael Mayerfeld Bell
Culture as Dialogue
Dorothy Smith
Bakhtin and the Dialogic of Society
An Investigation

Peter Hitchcock
The Grotesque of the Body Electric
Hwa Yol Jung
Bakhtin's Dialogical Body Politics
Michael Bernard-Donals
Knowing the Subaltern
Bakhtin, Carnival and the Other Voice of the Human Sciences

Michael Gardiner
'The Incomparable Monster of Solipsism'
Bakhtin and Merleau-Ponty

Raymond A Morrow
Bakhtin and Mannheim
An Introductory Dialogue

Ian Burkitt
The Death and Rebirth of the Author
The Bakhtin Circle and Bourdieu on Individuality, Language and Revolution

Courtney Bender
Bakhtinian Perspectives on 'Everyday Life' Sociology
Barry Sandywell
The Shock of the Old
Mikhail Bakhtin's Contributions to the Theory of Time and Alterity

Greg Nielsen
The Norms of Answerability
Bakhtin and the Fourth Postulate


What are we to make of Bakhtin? Nearly twenty years after his death, the full richness of his ideas has still not been digested. For many people working in the social sciences he remains a mysterious and impenetrable writer. Many are conscious hat his ideas are relevant for sociology and cultural studies, but would be hard pressed to give chapter and verse. Others regard Bakhtin to be figure who contributed to the literary and philologic fields of study.

This accessible and thoughtful text aims to demonstrate the relevance of Bakhtin to the human sciences. It argues that most of the current literature has been characterized by a superficial appropriation of Bakhtinian ideas and neologisms. What has been neglected is a serious engagement with his core ideas and a sustained reflection on their implications for social and cultural theory.

A lively introduction discusses the importance of Bakhtin as a major intellectual figure and situates his ideas in current theoretical trends and developments. This is followed by essays from a diverse group of contributors, organized around the four main themes in Bakhtin's work: dialogics, carnivals, conversations and ethics and everyday life.

Bakhtin and the Human Sciences is an accurate and insightful attempt to extend Bakhtin's ideas into the mainstream social sciences and to reconsider Bakhtin as a social thinker, not just a literary theorist.

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ISBN: 9780761955306
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